Sherren Lee is a Director born in Taiwan, bred in Montreal and currently located in Toronto. Named as The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Canada’s Rising Stars, she’s a 2014 alumna Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre Directors’ Lab and was selected as one of Women In View’s ‘Five in Focus’ Directors in 2017. She is the award-winning director of short film BENJAMIN (2015) and web series SOMEONE NOT THERE (2014). Her latest short, THE THINGS YOU THINK I’M THINKING (2017) has screened at over seventy film festivals across the globe, has won eleven awards including the Oscar-qualifying Grand Jury Prize for Best International Narrative Short Film at Outfest 2018 and continues its festival run. Sherren is also a proficient episodic director; her credits include Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries (CBC) and Hudson & Rex (CityTV), Back Alley and Muse Entertainment’s Coroner (CBC), Sinking Ship Entertainment’s Odd Squad (PBS, TVO) and Dino Dana (Amazon, TVO & Yoopa).
Nataleah Hunter-Young is a film programmer, writer, and PhD student in Communication and Culture at Ryerson and York Universities. She has supported festival programming for the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Durban International Film Festival (South Africa), Toronto Outdoor Picture Show, and Reelworld Film Festival. With a professional background as a youth worker, Nataleah has always merged her passions for community development with her love of film and media arts. Nataleah’s doctoral research explores the social and cultural impact of social media police brutality videos and their contemporary artistic representations. She holds a Master’s of Social Work from Ryerson University, and has recently written for Canadian Art Magazine, the Gardiner Museum, and issue 58 of PUBLIC: Arts/Culture/Ideas, which she also co-edited.
Carolyn Wu is a writer, director, producer and community organizer working in Tkaronto (Toronto). She led CBC’s national television show “Q” through a total rebranding as Acting Senior Producer. Since then, her film “In My Mother’s Closet” has screened internationally at NSI Online Short Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Wicked Queer: Boston LGBT Film Festival, and Trans Fest Stockholm while winning awards at Toronto Short Film Festival and Canada Shorts. In 2018, she produced short films in partnership with CaribbeanTales, Cinema Politica, and the Ontario Arts Council including Lu Asfaha’s “Paladin” and Taina Da Silva and Becca Redden’s “The Ceremony”. She also runs “Queer + Trans BIPOC Shorts Night”, the only event in Tkaronto that celebrates films of all sizes, genres, and budgets made exclusively by QTBIPOC filmmakers. All of her filmmaking and organizing seeks to empower the voices of everyone involved at every level, almost all of whom are queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and/or people of colour.
Sharon Lewis is a director, showrunner, actor and writer. Her first leading role was Rude, a Jamaican DJ in the film Rude. She directed and co-wrote Sistahs with Maxine Bailey, a play that continues to be produced all around the world. Her first feature, the afrofuturist film Brown Girl Begins, inspired by Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring has been winning awards and wowing audiences nationally and internationally. Her next project SPADE, is a neo-noir feature film with a modern twist.
Born to Guyanese parents, Karen Chapman is a passionate lover of all things artful. Karen studied and graduated from Emily Carr University with a Bachelors in Media Arts and recently won the Audience Choice Award at the WIFT-T Showcase for her film Walk Good. She is a Hot Docs Fellow and has made over 30 short films which have screened in dozens of film festivals internationally and on thousands of mobile devices, in classrooms, movie theatres and from living rooms across the country. Last year, Karen was listed as 1 of 17 great Canadian filmmakers of the future.
Aisha Jamal is a Toronto-based filmmaker, programmer and college instructor. Her documentaries have screened at festivals and venues worldwide. She is currently working on her first feature-length documentary called A Kandahar Away for the Documentary Channel. She is also Head of Programming at the Syria Film Festival and Canadian Film Programmer at Hot Docs Canadian Documentary Film Festival. Aisha teaches film theory and history at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.